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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Frazier's 3-run HR leads Reds over Cardinals 5-3

Frazier's 3-run HR leads Reds over Cardinals 5-3

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer off Shelby Miller, who had won his last six decisions, and Devin Mesoraco added a solo shot as the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Friday night and tightened the top of the NL Central.

The Reds moved within three games of the second-place Cardinals, who have won seven of their last nine games while staying right behind the division-leading Brewers.

Cincinnati is 3-4 against St. Louis this season and trying to end a longstanding trend this weekend. The Reds have lost nine of their last 10 series against the Cardinals.

Miller (6-3) lost his first two starts before winning six straight decisions, the best such streak of his career. He allowed five runs in five innings, including Frazier's ninth homer in the third inning.

Homer Bailey (4-3) escaped numerous threats during his six innings. Aroldis Chapman gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his fourth save in five chances, with his fastball topping out at 102 mph.

Bailey was coming off his worst start of the season. He lasted only 3 2-3 innings and gave up a season-high six runs during a 12-1 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday. The right-hander is only 6-10 career against St. Louis, by far his most losses against any team. He gave up eight hits and three runs, including Allen Craig's two-run single in the fourth.

Jhonny Peralta drove in another by hitting into a fielder's choice in the sixth. Bailey avoided further damage by picking Peralta off second base to end the inning with pinch-hitter Jon Jay batting.

The Reds had right fielder Jay Bruce back in the starting lineup. He hadn't played since surgery on May 5 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Cincinnati is still missing first baseman Joey Votto, on the disabled list with a strained muscle above his left knee.

Bruce doubled and scored on Brayan Pena's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning for a 4-2 lead. Bruce also struck out twice and grounded out with two runners aboard to end the seventh.

Pena played first base and made a saving defensive play to open the eighth. He dived to the line to get Matt Holliday's leadoff grounder and, while still on his chest, flipped the ball to Jonathan Broxton covering the base to get the out.

Reds leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton walked, reached on a fielder's choice and stole a pair of bases without drawing a throw on either one, giving him 18 this season.

NOTES: A pair of lefties will start the second game of the series. Jaime Garcia is 9-2 career against the Reds, his most wins against any team. He'll face Tony Cingrani (2-3). ... The Cardinals sold the contract of OF Joey Butler to the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. The Cardinals had outright release waivers on Butler, who was at Triple-A Memphis. ... The Reds revamped their bench for the series, calling up OF Donald Lutz from Triple-A Louisville and sending INF Neftali Soto back down. ... RHP Mat Latos is expected to begin a rehab stint on Sunday with Louisville. He hasn't pitched this season because of torn knee cartilage and a strained right forearm.Frazier's 3-run HR leads Reds over Cardinals 5-3

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BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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